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Bebop Spoken There

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11,740 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 880 of them this year alone and, so far, 17 this month (August 4).

Coming soon ...


Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Monday, July 06, 2020

And the band played on (at Ronnie's)...

As BSH's Editor-in-Chief fought a losing battle with Facebook, your reviewer came off the subs' bench to pen a coda. Now then, where were we?

Audience or not, James Pearson led the house band as if this was a regular gig, giving their all. And there was an audience, albeit a distanced, cyberspace audience, which made itself known by way of comment and request. Pearson handed Natalie Williams a sheaf of papers from which the dynamic Ronnie Scott's All Stars' vocalist gave a shout out to a host of names.

Ben Webster, one of the truly great performers down the years at Ronnie's, revisited 21st century Soho in the form of Alex Garnett blowing on Cottontail. Williams negotiated the lyrics to Chick Corea's Spain with aplomb - easy when you know how! And again on Ray Noble's The Very Thought of You, a clever arrangement, probably by MD Pearson. The final number of the hour-long live stream proved to be an absolute killer - Horace Silver's Sister Sadie. Blistering playing all round with Chris Higginbottom's solo feature topping it off. 

And that was it, or so the house band thought. Up leapt a Ronnie Scott's bod to suggest an encore. A minute or two to ponder (Pearson and co genuinely didn't anticipate playing another one) and the Gershwins' But Not for Me with the rarely heard verse closed the show. Next up from Frith Street on Thursday evening will be the Reuben James Trio. If it's half as good as tonight then it'll be well worth catching.   

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